Europe must take responsibility for European waste exports outside the EU

At the recycling factory, unrecognizable senior male worker working

Late Thursday night, negotiators from the European Parliament and the EU Member States agreed on the new rules for the shipping of waste inside and outside the European Union.

"Europe’s waste exports to developing countries have reached an all-time high. When we export more and more waste, we must take responsibility for preventing and addressing harm to humans and the environment in non-EU countries, such as Turkey. We must ensure that those responsible for the shipment are duly penalised if they break EU law," explained Pernille Weiss MEP, the European Parliament's chief negotiator of the new rules.

"In 2021, the European Union exported 77 per cent more waste than in 2004. This includes non-ferrous metal scrap as well as paper, plastic, textile and glass waste. This is not without consequences in third countries," said Weiss.

The new law will address this by imposing stricter conditions on the export of waste, especially to non-OECD countries. It will ensure that a shipment of waste is monitored throughout its entire journey until it has been managed in an environmentally sound manner, thereby contributing to a circular economy. It will also further facilitate waste shipments within the European Union by reducing red tape and digitising the exchange of information between authorities and operators. The new EU rules are expected to help to increase recycling capacity within the European Union.

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